KARACHI: Experienced South African cricketer Imran Tahir feels that the Pakistan Super League is a high-quality league, and there’s a tough competition between bat and ball.
He added that it is not easy for bowlers, especially with the short boundaries, and it challenges bowlers to do more if they want to be effective.
“A bowler knows the importance of keeping the line and length because if you miss the line, you’ll be hit for a boundary, so it gives you challenge and makes you perfect as a bowler,” he said.
The experienced cricketer said that with the innovation of cricket shots, the bowlers are also thinking of different techniques and are getting as clever as batters are.
Fit to represent SA
he is fit enough to represent South Africa in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. He hopes that South African selectors will consider his recent performances in world leagues.
In an exclusive interview to Geo News, the 42-year-old cricketer said that he feels that he has still a year or so before deciding on his plans to hang boots.
Pakistan-born cricketer, who played most of his initial cricket in Pakistan, also shared his feelings on being a foreign cricketer in the league of his birthplace.
“It is a strange feeling that I am an overseas player in the country where I was born and played my initial cricket. But I am thankful to South Africa that it gave me a chance to reach my dreams and prove myself in international cricket,” he said.
“The love I receive here from the fans and the support from my teammates always make me feel at home,” he added.
Career in Pakistan
Imran has represented Pakistan U19, Pakistan A, and domestic teams Lahore, WAPDA, and Redco before moving to South Africa to pursue an international career after being overlooked by selectors in Pakistan.
He got the opportunity to represent South Africa in 2011, and since then, Imran has played 107 ODIs, 38 T20Is, and 20 Test matches.
He last donned South Africa’s jersey in the 2019 World Cup in England, but he has plans not to retire from international cricket.
“I am still available for selection in T20 internationals,” Imran said.
“I believe I am fit enough to play the World Cup [In Australia], I hope that selectors will consider my performances in leagues around the world, and if they do, then I am sure they’ll find me a deserving candidate,” he said.
The veteran cricketer said that he would continue to play as long as he’s enjoying and feels comfortable in batting, bowling, and fielding and added that there’re not too many cricketers of his age, and he has to decide on the future one day.
Replying to a question, Imran said that post-retirement he’d not only spend time with family but also give something back to cricket by opting for a career in coaching.
“I love to share my experience with youngsters, and even when I am a player, I love to tell the youngsters whatever I’ve learned from my experience. Maybe I will become a leg-spin coach in the future,” he revealed.
“When I was growing up as a cricketer, I didn’t have this privilege to learn something from my seniors. Whenever I asked them for something, I didn’t receive much from them. So, I don’t want youngsters of this era to go thru the same, and I keep on helping them,” he pointed out.
When asked about his full-of-energy appearance on the field at the age of 42, Imran said that he doesn’t want to take any opportunity for granted, and it is important for him to stay motivated.
“I feel that I got the opportunity very late, so I don’t take any opportunity for granted and give my best in each of that. Also, there are not too many cricketers active of my age so it is important for stay fit and stay energetic to remain in competition with others,” he revealed.
“My celebration is also very natural, and I don’t plan to run. It comes from whatever my struggle was and says that I belonged to this place, I could’ve played, but I didn’t get the opportunity on time,” he said.
Captain Mohammad Rizwan
He hailed Multan Sultans’ captain Mohammad Rizwan, saying Rizwan had worked hard and struggled to achieve what he had done last year.
"I've had similar struggles, so I can understand what Rizwan must have gone through but let me tell you that whenever you achieve success after a long struggle, it stays with you for longer, and you really enjoy it,” Imran Tahir said.
Multan Sultans in PSL 7
He also praised his team Multan Sultans for a brilliant start in Pakistan Super League’s 7th edition.
“We are off to a good start, and it is all because of collective hard work as a team. I hope we continue with this streak in the tournament,” he said.
“The team’s atmosphere at Multan Sultans is excellent. We are like a family, and everyone is happy for each other’s performance instead of being insecure of their own place. This unity as a team is key, and the same family-like environment was observed in IPL team Chennai Super Kings,” he recalled.
“When you work hard as a team and give your best, you surely get the success,” he concluded.